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Chinese premier visits Thailand to boost ties

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November 20, 2012 08:34 AM EST | AP


BANGKOK — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has begun a two-day visit to Thailand as part of a regional tour before he steps down next year.

Wen is expected to discuss greater cooperation in areas such as education and rice trade with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

China is Thailand's second-largest trading partner after Japan.

Wen also is to meet with 84-year-old Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and with members of the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Before arriving in Bangkok, Wen attended an East Asia Summit in Cambodia.

Wen's trip follows a visit by President Barack Obama to Thailand on Sunday. Wen is to return to Beijing on Wednesday.